health and wellness

Link made between eating junk food and suffering from depression

 

What is junk food?

According to Reader’s Digest, in 1972 Michael Jacobson coined the term junk food when he was the director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. He defined low quality food as having little nutritional content with a detrimental amouont of calories becuase of added sugar, colour and fats. While anyone who eats a large amount of junk food will be at risk of health consequences, people with depression may worsen the symptoms of the illness. Studies show that eating healthy will help to conquer the negative effects of clinical depression.

Healthy food boosts mood and even eliminates depression in some people

Participants in a study conducted by Dr. Felice Jacka showed great improvement by following a Mediterranean diet; some participants were considered to have eliminated depression after following this diet. Improvements were shown after 12 weeks and the cost of the diet was less than an unhealthy diet. There isn’t one diet specifically proven to cure depression but eating healthy contributes to an overall care plan with noticeable results.

Beneficial foods to battle depression

The Mediterranean diet consists of whole foods including fish, vegetables and fruits; it is inspired by the traditional foods of the countries of Greece, Italy and Spain.  Other benefits include a healthier heart, lower blood pressure and better cognitive abililty. Foods that have a high amount of antioxidants lessen the effects of free radicals damaging cells in the brain. Foods that help depression includes:

  • salmon
  • nuts
  • olive oil
  • turkey
  • berries
  • carrots
  • broccoli
  • whole grain foods
  • low-fat dairy foods
  • yogurt
By including these foods into your diet you will feel good about being proactive about your health. It won’t take long for you to notice the results; give your improved diet a few weeks to notice a difference.

Recipes from the Mediterranean diet

 

Ingredients

6 cucumbers, about 8- inches long
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
4 tablespoons minced green onions
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Peel the cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Cut into lengthwise strips about 1/8-inch wide, and then cut the strips into 2-inch pieces.
Toss the cucumber pieces in a bowl with the vinegar, salt, and sugar. Let stand for at least 30 minutes or for several hours.
Drain, and pat dry with a towel.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Toss the cucumbers in a baking dish with the olive oil, herbs, onions and pepper.
Bake uncovered in the middle of the preheated oven for about 1 hour, tossing 2 or 3 times to prevent sticking. Cucumbers are done when tender, but still retain a suggestion of crispness and texture.

Baked salmon with mandarin orange and pineapple salsa

Ingredients

16 ounces wild Alaskan Salmon filets
4 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
1 cup red onion, chopped
2 cups mandarin oranges
2 cups pineapple bits and pieces
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup cilantro
1 pinch red pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350.
Sprinkle salmon with lemon pepper seasoning and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 – 20 minute until the thicket part of the meat just flakes. Do not over cook or your salmon will be dry.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and allow to sit in the refrigerate while the salmon bakes to meld flavors.
Serve salsa with the baked salmon.


Ingredients

6 cups Tart apples peel/thin slice
1/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
1/4 cup Skim milk
2 tablespoons Margarine softened
3 cups x Egg whites or ½
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Bisquick reduced fat baking mix
1 cup Bisquick reduced fat baking mix
1/2 cup Chopped nuts
cup Packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons Firm margarine


Preparation

 Heat oven to 350F. Grease 13x9x2″ baking dish. Prepare Streusel; reserve. Spread apples in dish.
Beat remaining ingredients in blender on high speed 15 seconds; with hand beater or wire whisk beat for 1 minute or until smooth. Pour over applies. Sprinkle with streusel.
Bake about 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool at least 10 minutes. 12-15 servings.
Mix (Reduced Fat)

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